Big Interview - Colin Thackery

Date: Tuesday November 5, 2019 at 3:55pm

Thank you for agreeing to speak with NCNB today… You served in the Korean War in the early 50’s, what was your time like within the Military?

Coming from a broken home and joining at 15 years of age, the Army was a family that helped me to be a better citizen and gave me status, good manners and an education!

When leaving the Military did you have an idea or plan of what you wanted to do?  If so, did you stick to it or end up doing something else?

I was fortunate in having a previous comrade who offered me a job, but I moved into training and Health and Safety which enabled me to go freelance in the end.

The Military have banter amongst the different Cap Badges, is it still like that in Chelsea Hospital?

Of course! The Inter-Regimental banter is always president and in constant use!!


What is life like in the Chelsea Hospital? Are there lots of similarities to Military life that you can tell us about?

The life here is excellent and suits as one gets older with many facilities open to us. A Military ethos is prevalent, and one is proud to be back in uniform again.

What influenced you to sign up for BGT and what emotions were you feeling the day of your audition?

I was dared to enter! I had told a colleague that with regards to the voice “If you don’t use it, you’ll lost it.” I was very apprehensive, but it helped when the judges were so kind.

As a Chelsea Pensioner, prior to winning BGT, tell me about how the general public react when they see you out and about? Any special treatment?

We always get asked for photographs when we are out and about in Scarlett. London Taxi Drivers are very generous with free or reduced rides, as are many shops and restaurants.

As you won Britain’s Got Talent, you performed in front of members of the Royal Family. What was it like going from performing in the Military to performing in the Royal Variety Performance?

The Royal Variety Show is to be filmed in November; I am hoping that we may see the Queen in the audience which will be the greatest honour.  I am hoping that my contribution will include my colleagues who were on stage with me on the BGT Final.

Are there any other hidden talents within the Chelsea Hospital?

There are a number of very accomplished artists and ceramic creators.

If you had to go to dinner with 6 people and you could choose anyone, what 6 people would you chose?

Sir Winston Churchill, HM The Queen, Michelle Obama, Katherine Jenkins, Stephen Fry and any member of the Invictus Team!

Tell us something about you no-one else will know?

I am actually quite shy!

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, any final words or wisdom you would like to share with the Armed Forces Community for retirement?

Go for it boys and girls! You have many talents to offer. Follow your dreams!


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